Tough economic times for two-legged humans typically lead to difficult times for their four-legged friends.
And that in significant part is what makes this year’s seventh annual edition of the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society’s Bow Wow Bash Masquerade Party is so important.
The Bow Wow Bash will be held 6-10 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Centennial Building.
The Bow Wow Bash, a mix of food, fun, music with a Halloween-theme, represents the major fundraiser each year for the Humane Society. With government budgets, and therefore revenue to the Humane Society, constrained, the Bow Wow Bash provides an opportunity to take a bite out of the red ink.
“The funding we get from the county and (city of Port St. Joe) is about 20 percent of what it costs to operate the Humane Society for the year,” said Sandi Christy of the Humane Society board. “The Bow Wow Bash is the one event we count on each year to put us over the top, so to speak.”
This year’s event will be catered by Sunset Coastal Grill and its executive chef Ian Williams. Guests will enjoy a cash bar, masquerade contest (costumes for attendees is strictly optional) and there will be live music.
There will be silent and live auctions (credit cards accepted) that will culminate with the drawing for a new iPad. (Tickets for the iPAd drawing are $10 or three for $25 and are available at various locations around Port St. Joe, the Bow Wow Beach Shop on Reid Avenue and at www.bowwowbash.org).
The auctions will include items from local artist Jan Sapte, including a handcrafted fused-glass plate and handmade quilt featuring seabirds pictured here; a two-night stay at the Windsor Court Hotel, a 4-Diamond hotel in the French Quarter in New Orleans; a spa/golf package at the Silverado Resort in Napa; a 10-person Mad Hatter Murder Mystery Dinner hosted by Jill and Mike Davis; and a number of other “quality items” that Christy has lined up.
Prizes will also be awarded to the winners of the costume contests, including Best Couple, Best Man, Best Woman and Best Overall.
Door prizes will be given throughout the event.
All proceeds from this function are used to the Humane Society and its mission to help the needy animals of Gulf County.
The need is there.
With the economy in a doldrums for several years, the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society shelter is bulging.
The Humane Society currently has 56 dogs and 29 cats at the shelter; 12 dogs training in the DAWGS in Prison program; and four dogs and six cats in foster care.
“We need more foster care-givers,” Christy said. “They are willing to keep and care for an animal until we have room at the shelter or it is adopted. We need a lot more, though we have a very dedicated group of volunteers.
“It doesn’t even have to be overnight. You can come in and take a dog for a day; or a cat for a day. Take a dog for a walk; it is healthy for you and the dog.”
The Humane Society recently brought dogs to Sunset Coastal Grill during a weekend afternoon and managed to have three, two puppies and a dog, adopted, including the puppies going to a Georgia family traveling through.
The DAWGS in Prison program spearheaded by the Humane Society has saved more than 230 dogs, and provided life skills to even more inmates at the Gulf Forestry Camp over more than three years.
The DAWGS in Prison program, a free spay and neuter program the Humane Society offers to all Gulf County residents, the outreach during SaltAir Farmer’s Markets and events such as that at Sunset Coastal Grill to increase animal adoptions, have come to fruition due to a dedicated staff and a small army of volunteers.
“We have very generous people who visit us and also very generous volunteers who live here,” Christy said. “None of this would be possible without them. But it is very difficult to continue to do more with less. Our shelter is over five years old and our costs are up.”
And the economy has been no help.
“We have seen a real increase in owner surrenders and an increase in animals left behind,” Christy said. “Hundreds of animals are abandoned every year in our area and money raised at events like the Bow Wow Bash help us comfortably house and care for them while they are waiting for their forever homes.”
Tickets for the nighttime event are $30 each or $300 for a reserved table for 10 which includes a free drink ticket per person. All proceeds benefit the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society and the animals of Gulf County.
Tickets are available at Bow Wow Beach Shop on Reid Ave. in Port Saint Joe or at St. Joseph Bay Humane Society on 10th Street in Port Saint Joe or by emailing: www.bowwowbash.org.
For more information contact www.sjbhumanesociety.org or www.bowwowbash.org.
The St. Joseph Bay Humane Society is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that serves all of Gulf County.